Monday, 30 July 2012
Simon's Alpine Challenge Day 1: Warming Up
[caption id="attachment_3805" align="alignright" width="224"] View of the hotel - looks like it welcomes cyclists![/caption]
As promised a couple of weeks ago, Simon Cousins brings us his first guest post about his Alpine cycling challenge. Without further ado, it's over to you Simon...
Well we finally made it to our destination, Saint Jean de Maurienne, after a 14 hour drive through France. Our hotel is in the centre of town and only a few yards away from the start of the Col de la Croix de Fer climb.
The weather today (Sunday) has been perfect, so we went out on a "warm up" ride along the Maurienne valley towards the town of Saint Michel de
Maurienne, which lies at the start of the really big climb of Col du Galibier. My legs felt pretty good considering that I hadn't done any training for the last 4 weeks due to illness, so we decided to do some small climbs for practice. These went well.
[caption id="attachment_3808" align="alignleft" width="300"] Imagine the noise from all those bells![/caption]
In the afternoon we drove up the Col de Madeleine, which is very steep and goes on for several miles. On the way up we passed several cyclists slowly grinding it out - which only reminded us of what was in store for us! At the top of the Col de Madeleine I took some photos. One photo I took was of about 200 cows - many of them were wearing a bell.
The noise they created as they clanked across the alpine pasture was pretty deafening!
Tomorrow is our first big climb - the Col de la Croix de Fer. It looks like it is going to be very hot so we are setting off early in attempt to avoid the midday sun.
I will let you all know how we got in tomorrow's blog.
Wish us luck!
Thanks for a great first post Simon - looking forward to your next one!